Driving home from Staten Island yesterday afternoon, I managed to stay directly 
underneath the heaviest rainbands all the way. But immediately afterwards, 
around 6:30 pm, the skies began to clear. To my old-fashioned, low-tech mind, 
this is the key predictor: the front cleared locally before nightfall. I didn't 
even need to set my alarm clock to awaken at 4:30, make coffee, finish some 
editorial duties for The Kingbird, then arrive at Robert Moses SP, Suffolk 
County, in time to hear an active airspace above me.

>From 5:55-6:25 I identified some of the more familiar nocturnal flight calls 
>(Bobolink, Swainson's Thrush, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and Savannah Sparrow), 
>as well as two locally more unusual ones--Gray-cheeked Thrush and Upland 
>Sandpiper! Warblers were zinting and sipping overhead as well, and as the 
>light improved and I was joined by sharp-eyed, camera-savvy associates, we 
>worked patiently at identifying some of the many birds in morning flight.

For me, mid-September is the toughest season for watching morning flight 
because the potential species diversity is enormous (unlike August, when the 
flights tend to be dominated by several species that one can mentally "cheat" 
toward, getting a head start toward confirming diagnostic features during the 
brief views), and because the warblers are less boldly patterned than they are 
during spring flights. Pending further photo review, we were able to identify 
56 individuals representing 15 species of warblers, leaving 138 unidentified. 
The named birds, as always, were stacked toward those that are both common and 
easy to identify in flight, such as American Redstart, and those with highly 
distinctive calls, such as Myrtle Warbler (they're back...).

Red-breasted Nuthatches and Purple Finches continue to move through, and we had 
at least three Dickcissels. The last of these was a calling bird that we 
thought to be one of five appropriate-looking birds flying together. Photos of 
this group were obtained and might confirm or refute whether this was a flock 
of five Dickcissels.

It was a great morning to be out, and my biggest regret is that were not able 
to give the ocean adequate attention. During some sample scans, I could see 
that hundreds of Common Terns and Laughing Gulls were moving west to east 
during the early morning.

Shai Mitra
Bay Shore
[] on behalf of Gus Keri 
Sent: Wednesday, September 19, 2018 5:59 AM
To: Birding alert, NYSBirds, Birding alert; Birding alert, ebirdsNYC, Birding 
Subject: [nysbirds-l] I beleive this is a good day for birding

I believe this is the day The birders of the tristate area and especially NYC 
are waiting for.
there was a lot of radar activities over the city itself (mainly Manhattan, 
Brooklyn and Staten Island) in the early hours indicating significant number of 
birds landing in our parks and beaches.
Check this site at 1:40 am CT.
there was better activities covering more area at 3 am but I tried to send a 
photo in previous email but it didn't go though. I guess photos are not allowed 
I believe this day is going to be very good for birding.


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